The United Kingdom will begin deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda in two weeks ‘ time as part of a controversial migration deal between the two countries. The first flight will depart on June 14, interior minister Priti Patel said.
The UK government made a migration deal with Rwanda in april, to allow “disadvantaged asylum seekers” who entered the UK illegally to await their asylum procedure in the African country. The first group of asylum seekers has now received a letter from the Ministry of the Interior stating that they must leave the country. It is unclear how many people are involved. Earlier, dozens of illegal refugees had already received a “letter of intent” from the British government, announcing the expulsion.
The new migration approach only applies to single men who are unlikely to qualify for a residence permit. At the expense of the British, these refugees can rebuild their lives in Rwanda. People who have a high chance of successfully applying for asylum may wait for the procedure in the British Isles.
Minister Patel notes that the plans are still delayed due to legal ‘challenges’. The migrants who received a letter can still challenge their expulsion.
“We know that attempts will be made to slow down the process,” said Patel, who said he would not be deterred by it. ‘I will continue to work to ensure that the British get what they expect.’
Prime minister Boris Johnson previously said that the reception in Rwanda will work in favor of the “real” refugees, but the policy is expected to have a deterrent effect mainly on migrants who intend to make the crossing. Johnson’s government promised in the Brexit to better control the country’s borders, but has been criticized for years because of the increasing flow of migrants.
In 2021, more than 28 thousand people illegally crossed the channel between France and the United Kingdom. That number is expected to double this year.
Home Secretary Patel − himself a child of migrants – says the migration deal is an important method of countering illegal human trafficking and solving Britain’s asylum problems. But activists and human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the Refugee Council have called the agreement ” cruel and vile.” Yvette Cooper, the shadow minister of the interior, also finds the migration agreement scandalous.
The Conservative politician Andrew Mitchell is particularly afraid that the plan will cost a lot of money. It would be cheaper to send the migrants in the UK to expensive hotels and private schools, Mitchell said. It is estimated that the initial costs of reception in Rwanda are already around 145 million euros. Nevertheless, according to the government, the plan is much cheaper than the daily migrant shelter in the UK. 5.6 million euros per day are now being spent on this.